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Leonberger

The Leonberger is a large, strong and muscular dog. They have an unusual feature, webbed feet, which makes them good swimmers. They can be lion gold, red, reddish-brown, sandy (fawn or cream) and all combinations in between, with a black mask. Adult males measure 72-80cm and weigh 34-50kg. Adult females measure 65-75cm and weigh 30-50kg.

The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for experienced owners
  • Some training required
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys walking an hour a day
  • Giant dog
  • Heavy drool
  • Requires grooming daily
  • Non hypoallergenic breed
  • Quiet dog
  • Guard dog. Barks, alerts and it's physically protective
  • May require training to live with other pets
  • May require training to live with kids
Leonberger is lying near a snowy forest

Personality

Leonbergers should be easy-going, placid, loyal and even-tempered. They get on well with other pets and children and are playful. They learn quickly and, because of their large size, training is especially important and should be started as early as possible.

Leonberger is standing on a path near the forest

History and Origins

The Leonberger dog breed was created in the 1840s to resemble the lion of the Leonberg town crest. It is a cross between a Newfoundland and St Bernard, and a backcross to a Pyrenean Mountain Dog. They became very popular and many distinguished people owned them. However, during World War I they almost died out, as people could not afford to feed them. The handful of dogs that survived were bred carefully until World War II when they were nearly all lost again. Today the Leonberger dog is still relatively rare but it is gaining in number and popularity.

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